People often ask me about the selection process. The number one question has to be “when do you know”?
 
Fortunately, in the lead up to selection Equestrian Australia (EA) releases a selection policy for each discipline. This is extremely advantageous to riders. Firstly, it provides a fairly clear idea of the rules of combat for selection! Secondly, policy answers a lot of questions. The policy also advises us as to when we will find out.

Equestrian Australia advises people that are under consideration for the team a little earlier than the public announcement is made. One of the things we are definitely not allowed to do is tell anyone before the official announcement.



I have a number of friends such as Bec Blyth (who you will no doubt meet in the course of this journey) who knows my weakness for good champagne (how sad is it that the games are in France….not). Bec ring’s me to see if I have had any good bubbles recently, apparently this is a sure sign of the state of play.
 
This year we were supposed to find out who was on the Australian team on the 23rd of July. Luckily for me the selectors had a moment of kindness and announced the team on the 3rd of July.
 
Why so close to the event? I’m told many years ago riders were notified about a year out that they were going to the next Olympics. Apparently they wrapped themselves and their horses up in cotton wool, and as a result never performed to their true potential. Now riders have to fight it out to the bitter end.
 
I was particularly pleased about being told earlier than the 23rd of July otherwise I would have only had about 12 days to get from Albany to Melbourne to catch the plane.  The drive alone is four days, and I still had to pack as I am too superstitious to pack before I know, plus we needed to get to Melbourne early enough to allow the horse to recover from the long leg of the trip (getting to Europe is the short and easy bit).
 
So basically, reading the selection policy and with mum, dad and Nikki, guidance from the EA HP team, as well as advice from Wayne Roycroft, plus my two trips east this year to Sydney and Melbourne CCI’s proved successful for Ben and myself to get a ticket to the World Equestrian Games this year.